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Toyota 86 GT review

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    Toyota has really ripped one out with this model, the complete antithesis of the very boring Camry?

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Chris Riley road tests and reviews the new Toyota 86 GT and answers the big questions.

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?

What is it?

Toyota's attention getting 86 sports car. This one is the GT entry model with a manual transmission. It will be the preferred choice of many punters, bearing in mind that less is often more when it comes to sports cars.

How much?

Prices start at $29,990. The big problem is getting hold of one. The waiting list has blown out to more than a year we're told - the good news is that this week Toyota announced it had managed to get hold of another 1500.

What are competitors?

Excellent question, especially for someone who wants the car now and is not prepared to wait. For the price nothing else really comes within cooee  but a Veloster Turbo might tide you over at $31,990.

What's under the bonnet?

A 2.0-litre naturally aspirated flat four Subaru engine (shared with the BRZ). Produces 147kW of power at 7000 revs and 205Nm of torque between 6400 and 6600 revs. That makes it a high revving engine with a narrow band of torque.

How does it go?

Fantastic. Once you get the hang of it that is. This is not a car that you can dawdle around in, leaving it in top gear. You need to change and change often to keep in the zone. With no revs on the dial you will be left high and dry on the other side of a corner.

Is it economical?

The manual is rated at 7.8 litres/100km and interestingly that's exactly what we were getting after just over 400km of driving. Bear in mind that this engine requires 98 RON fuel or higher according to the book. Neither the GT or GTS provide distance to empty which is kind of wierd.

Is it green?

Both the manual and automatic get 4 out of 5 stars from the Govt's Green Vehicle Guide (Prius gets 5). The manual produces 181g/km of CO2.

Is it safe?

Hasn't been tested by ANCAP yet but has been designed to get 5 stars, with seven airbags as standard and a pedestrian-friendly front structure.

Is it comfortable?

It's a long way down but once you're there it's all good. No back seat to speak of but the sports bucket will accommodate a range of frames.

What's it like to drive?

Sounds more like a boxer engine than the auto. As the Beach Boys sang - Fun! Fun! Fun! Toyota has really ripped one out with this model, the complete antithesis of the very boring Camry?

Is it value for money?

Add in a digital speedo and distance to empty and we'd be happy as a pig in mud.

Would we buy one?

Where do we sign?

Toyota 86

Price: from $29,990
Engine: 2.0-litre boxer four-cylinder, 147kW/205Nm
Transmission: six-speed manual, six-speed auto, RWD
Fuel economy:  7.8L/100km (7.1L auto) 98RON
0-100km/h: 7.6 secs (8.2 auto)


Ford Focus Titanium
Price: from $36,490
Engine: 2.0-ltre 4-cyl; 120kW/340Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, FWD
Thirst: 5.4L/100km, 142g/km CO2



Ford Focus - see other Ford Focus verdicts


Hyundai Veloster +
Price: from $27,990
Engine: 1.6-litre, 4-cyl, 103kW/166Nm
Transmission: 6-speed twin-clutch automated manual, FWD
Thirst: 6.4l/100km, CO2 151g/km



Hyundai Veloster - see other Hyundai Veloster verdicts


Subaru BRZ
Price: from $39,730 (auto)
Engine: 2.0-litre horizontal four-cylinder petrol, 147kW/205Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, RWD
Thirst: 7.8L/100Km, 181 g/km CO2



Subaru BRZ - see other Subaru BRZ verdicts



Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 7 comments

  • What is Toyota doing.?  It does not stand up to the Celica. The 1780 cc Celica had 191 hp, redline 8000, weight 1300 kg, 0 to 100 ks. at 7.5.  The rear seat are for show, the trunk is very limited.
    No way I will exchange my Celica for the 86

    fabrizio Pravedoni of Italia Posted on 01 January 2013 3:03am
  • I was tossing up between the 86GTS and a 2nd hand Porsche and in the end opted for the practicality of the 86. Mine was ordered in June and arrive in early January. In the meantime, I have driven the 86GTS twice. It drives and handles even better than the road tests suggest and design both interior and exterior are exceptional at this price point. I can’t wait to get my car.

    Alan Brunner of Brisbane Posted on 29 December 2012 1:22pm
  • $30K for the 87, $40K for the BRZ with free servicing.  Hmmm

    gerardthebutler of disturbia Posted on 14 December 2012 2:17pm
  • Peter of Brisbane, I had the loan of a 86GTS for 4 days and my observations are mirrored by Wheels Magazine, Jeremy Clarkson and every other review you are likely to read with drivers of a higher skill level than me. Many of those reviews actually answer your questions compressively - have you ready anything on the 86 at all?? The car is simply brilliant for reasons given in detail and for the money nothing else comes close.
    I ordered an 86GT last October after that test - a lighter car than the GTS and the non low profile tyres are more practical.
    Not a true sports car?? Give me strength..

    Jon of Brisbane of Brisbane Posted on 24 November 2012 11:11am
  • geez peter of brisbane is a wanker. Go spend under 40K on another brand new car and see if you get the same value. its a rear wheel drive so obviously it oversteers if you drive like a spastic around corners, use your brain you dumb ass. if your not happy with the review go to one of the other thousands of in depth driving reviews and read there. you sound like ths sort of tight ass that wouldnt even be buying one anyway

    jeffrey of sydney Posted on 15 November 2012 3:32pm
  • It is not a sports car in the true sense of the word. That was reserved for a light, no frills, soft top. If anything it is a GT coupĂ©. You may think I am nit picking, but would you call a station wagon a hatch?
    How does it really drive?  Has anyone taken it to club sport meetings and ran it in a hillclimb or a lap dash or motokahna? And what about a true test? a mountain road or more information on the 400klm drive would be good, forget the silly alliteration and smart statements, does it understeer or oversteer? What does it do under heavy braking. Can I trail the brakes into a corner, can I pull the front back into line on a decreasing radius corner?

    Peter of Brisbin of Brisbane Posted on 14 November 2012 12:58am
  • I have some major issues in my new Silver Toyota 86 and that is too many headturns, have girlfriends and wifes nearly ready to jump in the 86 while driving, also with the attention you get with it parking it is a worry, should have bought a nice VW Golf or an Audi and wouldn’t have had those issues as no one would have noticed it nor given you a glance on the road, you might as well drive a 1993 Mazda 3 and no one would notice the difference. PS those Golf drivers go on about their interiors, it is crap and plain big deal if it has no plastic materials, tell a chick which car she would rather jump in and it’s the 86 each time.

    Joe Caruso of Melbourne Posted on 12 November 2012 12:58pm
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